If an employee is off sick due to coronavirus vaccine side effects, are they entitled to pay?
As is always the case in employment related matters it is important to look at what the employment contracts say in this case whether the employer operates a contractual sick pay scheme. It’s up to the employer whether they want to pay full sick pay for vaccine-related sickness absence. However, to encourage staff to get the vaccine you might wish to consider: paying staff their usual rate of pay if they’re off sick with vaccine side effects; and / or not counting vaccine-related absence in absence records, and adjusting any trigger levels in attendance procedures so that this type of short-term absence doesn’t count towards the trigger.
For most people, the side effects are mild and last no more than a day or two, but for a few people they are more severe. This may result in the employee taking time off work as sickness absence if they’re too ill to work, even from home. If the employee is unable to work due to vaccine side effects, they would be entitled to take sick leave under the terms of your sickness absence policy in the normal way
Statutory sick pay (SSP) would not generally be payable for vaccine-related sickness absence since the total period of incapacity is unlikely to be more than three days. Although SSP must be paid from the first day of absence in coronavirus cases, rather than after the usual three waiting days, this doesn’t include cases relating to vaccine side effects.
If you have any further queries please contact Julie firstname.lastname@example.org.